What do you think about this alaia thing? I'm an alaia rider/builder and just haven't seen many others. I ride mine every session no matter what and prefer it over everything else. Even after 15 years of surfing "modern" boards, I'm totally hooked on the alaia. It's really a ton of fun, I don't get why hardly anyone rides one. It's not really harder, it's just different so it just takes some time to figure it out.
Is it just too kooky or something? Too hard? Too expensive? Too much investment of time? I don't know... I can't figure it out. Maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
Thanks for your honest input,
It always helps to get a different perspective about stuff. It's good to hear some positive stuff and the other stuff is helpful too. If any one has any questions for me just ask, I'm glad to (hopefully) answer whatever you got. I'm glad to share the stoke! Yes, I do sell alaias. I run Xylem Surfboards out here on the east coast. Xylem Surfboards is still real grassroots, but who knows, that might change. I started in Hawaii (Big Island!) and moved here 2 years ago. You might see some of my boards out there and on the west coast too.
The approach is like starting over again except on something way better. It's like being really good at riding a bike with training wheels and then taking the training wheels off. All of a sudden you can do stuff you never thought possible. So, it's weird and feels strange at first, but it just takes some adjustment to get control of how the board works. When you do get control, it's just so fun... and you feel kinda proud of yourself too. It's not easy, but anyone with devotion, discipline and desire can get it. It's like karate or something.
I am living on The Big Island and also shape and ride Alaias. I just started and made my first one about 4 months ago. I have only surfed it a few time considering there hasnt been much surf this summer. The few times I did take it out it was so much more different than what I was used to. I dont consider myself any kind of \"Rippah\" but I have been surfing for 20 years or so and know the water well but this was like learning to surf all over again. My alaia is a 6'8 parabolic shape. I have the channel underneath running about 2/3 of the way up the board. I've had some guys at Banyans surf it and they say it surfs good. I just have a hard time keeping the board under me and paddling for a wave, I feel really slow and behind the wave all the time. I may have to go wider with the next one. But for the Braddas out at Bayans this board is good. I thinks its more of my \"daddy weight\" i put on, lol. But yeah I havent seen anyone out here surfing alaias. Thats the whole reason I started shaping them and hopefully soon, will start selling them out here. The shallow reef breaks and fast waves out here seem perfect for alaias. I think most people arent surfing them because surfing as a whole has become a fly by night sport. When the modern board started being mass produced it took something out of the spiritual connection of the sport. I love the ideal of the connection between shaping a board and knowing all of its imperfections and taking it out and feeling your hard work suceed in the water. But society and kids now-a-days are all about the \"HERE and NOW\" and wouldnt wanna take the time out to build their own. I find the same thing in how we as a society eat as well. Instead of cooking it from scratch, people would rather buy some prepackaged microwave dinner that taste like a bulls nutsac or go somewhere where the 19yo cook back there just scrated his nuts before putting your plate out to be served. But thats just my theory. I heard somewhere, while researching the alaia, someone said that surfing learned to run before it learned to walk. I believe this to be so true. Thanks for sharing braddah. SHOOTZ!!!